Updated: Jan 27
This morning, I ventured to Newtown, Connecticut to meet up with Bill Donaldson, the treasurer of Two Coyotes Wilderness School, founder and executive director of the nonprofit Love Has a Home, Inc, and the new proud renter of the Stone Barn on Sticks and Stones Farm. I met Bill within Sticks and Stones' hidden forest retreat, just outside the Stone Barn, where he graciously invited me in. Bill is inspiring to say the least! He is clearly driven and highly devoted to positive change, but he is also personable and warm. With all the ambitious endeavors he juggles, I expected our meeting to feel rushed and intense, but Bill made me feel immediately at ease. He is calm, peaceful, and full of love. He is the embodiment of everything his nonprofit, Love Has a Home, stands for.
Bill started Love Has a Home, Inc. back in 2017 as a way to spread love rather than fight against hate like so many protesters were doing at the time. He is a believer in the power of positivity. He believes that fighting against anything, even with good intentions, only perpetuates fear and hate. Two negatives don't make a positive. Darkness plus darkness does not bring about light. His vision for Love Has a Home is to continue raising money to donate to peaceful charities, bring more awareness to the power of love, and deepen the nonprofit's connection with Fairfield County's retreat center.
Bill officially began leasing Sticks and Stones' main barn this past Fall, but he has been tending to the forty-year-old farm since December. Prior to that, he knew the property well through Two Coyotes' ten-year connection to the land. The main barn is now the headquarters for Love Has a Home, and the setting couldn't be more fitting. Bill showed me around the barn, describing the weekly activities the main facility offers including meditation sessions, yoga classes, and occasional concerts. He also walked me over to the quaint nearby cabins peppered along the river and gave me a sneak peek inside.
After the basic tour, Bill showed me a map of the property and invited me to explore the rest of the land on my own--an offer I happily accepted. I spent an hour and a half hiking the surrounding woods, reading the inspirational quotes on the trees, exploring the labyrinth, listening to the babbling brook, and happening upon a plethora of charming cabins and natural features tucked within the trees. I couldn't stop taking pictures. I was in awe of the beauty. I felt energized and giddy like a child walking around a fairy tale. The land is stunning and everywhere I looked, I felt a sense of grounded, deep-rooted love.
Sticks and Stones Farm currently rents out their cabins through Airbnb to drug-and-alcohol-free minded people. However, Bill plans to phase out this rental style and turn Sticks and Stones into an Omega-Institute-style healing retreat, complete with programs, speakers, and regular classes. Unlike commercial retreats, Bill would like to keep the integrity and humble nature of the farm by keeping costs down and welcoming speakers of all kinds, both known and unknown. He wants the farm to be a center for love, peace, and spiritual exploration. He does not want anyone to feel excluded or intimidated by the retreat. His underlying foundation is always love. He believes there is no one path to peace and harmony. He welcomes all who seek love, nature, and human kindness.
I already miss both the farm and Bill. I can't wait to rent a cabin and have a reason to go back. Love most definitely has a home in Newtown, and now also has a home in me.